It is most pertinent at this point in the history of our dear party to clarify some issues as it concerns the chairmanship of Engr Adedeji Doherty in the People’s Democratic Party in Lagos State.
We are well aware of a recent “Biased court Judgement” delivered in a court in Lagos and presided over by Justice Oyekan Abdulahi in a suit no: LD/3600/GCM/2019DR: Dominic Agboola & Ors V People’s Democratic Party & Ors, which was circulated and read on social media and as posted by a faceless individual.
We wish to state that the synopsis of the judgement as stated, are absurd and misleading in all ramifications.
It is very strange for Justice Abdulahi in her judgement to have stated that the INEC was not involved in the conduct of the elections that brought in Engr Doherty as State Chairman, when INEC who was a party to the case also witnessed and signed result sheets on the day of the election. The records are there for anyone who cares.
It is also a known fact, that a committee headed by Ben Obi was constituted in line with dictates of the amended 2017 constitution of the party.
It is also noteworthy to state that the amended 2017 constitution was religiously adhered to in putting in place a “SPECIAL CONGRESS” to fill not only the vacant position of the state Chairman, but other vacant positions at that time, these included the positions of Vice-Chairman(Central), State Organising Secretary, State Legal Adviser, Asst Publicity Secretary and State Ex-Officio members from various LGA’s.
All these vacant positions were vied for and elections were carried out and due certifications as to winners and losers were effected.
It is noteworthy to also recall that preceding the elections, a Leaders & Stakeholders meeting was held at Raddison Blu Hotel.
In attendance were party stakeholders, including Dr Dominic Agboola, Dr Akintoye, HE Mrs Kofo Bucknor, Dr Ogunkelu, Mrs Aduke Maina, Former Senatorial candidates, Sitting members of the House of Representatives, Former House of Representatives members, former Governorship candidates, former State Chairmen and all LGA Chairmen amongst others.
Suffice to state that, the present State Secretary and all the plaintiffs in this “draconian lawsuit” were present at the said meeting.
We also categorically state that the only obviously absent person at this meeting was Chief Olabode George, this points to the fact that any information the Chief has is definitely “Second Hand”.
It was collectively agreed at the meeting, that a “SPECIAL CONGRESS” should be called to elect a new state Chairman and the normal Lugard imposition meeting that nominated Dominic at that time must not be ratified by the NWC. This was the resolution of all who attended except Chief Bode George who obviously boycotted the important meeting.
It was this agreement/resolution at the said meeting, that set the Ben Obi led committee in motion.
We also categorically state that the proceedings of the meeting was anchored by Mr Muiz Shodipe-Dosunmu who was also the State Secretary at that time.
Everyone present at the meeting, would recall the Mr Dosunmu’s sudden campaign of calumny against Engr Doherty’s candidature, where he stated in clear terms that “A vote for Doherty is a vote for Bode George and Enough of Bode George.”
Amidst all mud-slinging, Engr Doherty was duly voted in as the State Chairman by votes of delegates at the special congress which was passed by the NWC and backed by the provisions of the party Constitution which supports “Replacement of Officers.”
It is also on record, that Dr Agboola Dominic was at no point CONSTITUTIONALLY ELECTED into the position he is being pushed to claim.
We put it to him that, he was only nominated and imposed on the party by Chief Olabode George.
*This will be proven in the appeal court .*
We also state that, Dr Agboola Dominic was accorded the opportunity by the Ben Obi Committee to also contest for the position of State Chairman, which he declined based on Instructions from Chief Olabode George.(We recall that Sen Ben Obi visited Chief Bode George to discuss this issue but Chief George ignored his advice)
We wish to state here that Chief Olabode George is in the habit of imposing and maligning the party Constitution, particularly at times when the party intends to have congresses or elections, to pick managers or candidates of the party in the state.
This set of individuals have again started their usual antics, this gives credence to why the party has failed to take its desired place in Lagos State politics.
They have began plans to truncate the activities of an able, Independent and hard-working Chairman.
This is an individual, who has visibly quashed the activities of groups within the party and who has tried in all capacities to put the party on the right strides in the political arena in Lagos State.
Our Party has been relatively peaceful till date!
While trying as much as possible to be modest, we wish to state some of the achievements of Engr Adedeji Doherty:
*He was very active in ameliorating the plights of some members and party sympathizers, who were visibly sidelined by the Lagos State Government during the distribution of palliatives during the Covid19 pandemic.
*He single handedly distributed well over 10,000 packs of food items during the pandemic.
*He successfully organised a remembrance for party heros who had passed away, he also distributed food items starting from the household of Engr Funsho Williams.
*He successfully conducted the most peaceful primaries for the vacant seat in the Lagos East Senatorial District.
The story of the candidate who was obviously from the Olabode George camp would be relayed at a later date.
*He created state standing committees headed by well meaning leaders of the party.
*He created different structures for non-indigenes with a view to bringing them closer to the management of the party.
*He created a women empowerment and emancipation platform, with one of its targets as the support of women towards the forthcoming LGA Elections.
It should be noted that in the history of the party in the state, there are about 30% women inclusion in the list of candidates for the Elections.
*He for the first time put in place proper arrangements for a peaceful LGA primaries with the “Option A4” in all the 20LGA’s and 37LCDA’s across the state.
It is on record that there are 114 candidates for Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship slots and 376 Candidates for Councillorship slots across the state.
This success we wish to state, is unprecedented as there would have been dissenting voices and advices to switch party alligiance with a view to contesting against the party as usually orchestrated by Chief Olabode George and his men.
*He has also brought peace among the warring youths in the party.
We hereby state categorically that all these achievements amongst others were all attacked and almost truncated at some point by Chief Olabode George and his cronies.
As concerned elders of our dear party, all these anti party acts by Chief Olabode George and his cohorts are no longer acceptable.
We hereby state, with reference to the recent judgement bandied on social media, and as law abiding members of our dear party, we wish to point out that the supposed judgement is not against Engr Doherty but against the party, since Engr Doherty is not a party to the suit.
However, a court judgement at a lower court can always be appealed up to the Supreme Court if those affected feel they are not satisfied with the judgement presented at the lower court.
We also state that the certified true copy of the judgement is yet to be received by anyone and as such it would be prejudicial for anyone to take any form of actions or speculations on the matter.
We state without an iota of doubt, that the Party is Supreme and is the final arbiter on issues such as this.
It is the National body managed by the NWC that can execute any judgement even if there is any possibility of tilt in favour of the plaintiffs.
It is our position as concerned elders of the party in the state and in line with the recent press release of Dr Abimbola Ogunkelu who is our Chairman, that the said Judgement is unacceptable and would be duly appealed.
We also categorically state that the NWC still recognises Engr Adedeji Doherty as the substantive chairman of the state by virtue of their letter dated sometime in November 2019.
While we employ Dominic to throw his hat into the race for Chairman in 3 months time during the next congress if he wishes to lead the Party.
We also clearly state that this case is not an Electoral case, it should not and would not be treated as such, it is clearly a Civil case.
In view of the fact that it is a Civil case, there is a provision of a 90-day window for necessary appeal procedures to be put in place by the concerned party, while the applicant through the sheriff of the court also can’t execute the instructions of the said judgement.
In the same vein, the plaintiffs or even the court sheriffs cannot execute the purported judgement.
Dr Agboola Dominic should note that it is not in his capacity as one of the plaintiffs to execute a judgement of the court, as all necessary security agencies have been put on high alert.
He is hereby advised, to continue to “toe the line” of legal actions rather than taking the law into his hands, to avoid any unforseen circumstances.
We also wish to remind all and sundry, that Dr Agboola Dominic and his paymasters in their usual nature and style had at some point during all the foregoing issued a “form 48 & 49” on the National Chairman, ie (committal order) on Prince Uche Secondus with a view to remanding him in prison.
As leaders of our dear party, we are stating that our period of partnership with Chief Olabode George has being a period of “Sorrow, Killings ( Funsho & Aborishade )Tears and Bloodshed.”
Enough is Enough.
We wish to push the following questions to Chief Olabode George:
*When would he let go his knee off the neck of PDP faithfuls and youths in the state?
*Is he comfortable with the continued failure and suffering of the party in Lagos State?
*For how long does he want to keep on with the act of disintegrating and breaking up the party, losing about 60% of party membership, 23 years down the line?
We hereby call on the National body of the party, that it is time to take drastic disciplinary measures on all concerned irrespective of their position and standing in the party.
If Chief Olabode George, Dr Agboola Dominic and others have been fingered as parties who have taken the National body of the party to court, thereby bringing the party to disrepute, they should be brought to book forthwith.
We hereby request that, an emergency National Working Committee meeting should be called to urgently take far reaching disciplinary measures as it concerns the issue in Lagos State PDP as enshrined in the constitution of our dear party.
This we believe would go a long way in sending right signals and restoring confidence in the minds of party faithfuls in the state or else the party in our state might suddenly collapse, and we don’t want this wish of these haters of progress to prevail.
Consequently, We are stating that, we might not be left with any other option than to issue a 30-day ultimatum from today, 26th of June, 2021 to the National body to act decisively on these individuals who have constantly been cogs in the wheel of the progress of the party in Lagos State.
We hereby call on all members of our dear party in the state, to be steadfast and remain loyal to the party and not to individuals.
We further appeal to them not to be afraid, perturbed, tired and should not lose hope in the party, as the draconian era of Chief Olabode George and his cohorts would soon be a thing of the past.
We hereby use this medium to express our sincere appreciation to the Dr Bukola Saraki led reconciliation committee for their efforts so far. They have also witnessed how Chief Bode George has truncated an agreement he signed and which was witnessed by 4 former Governors .
We also wish to thank the past Southwest Zonal Chairman, His Excellency, Dr Eddy Olafeso and his Zonal Exco who worked tirelessly to put the party in Lagos on a peaceful footing.
It is now clear to all and sundry, that Chief Olabode George would continue to be a pain in the neck of party faithfuls in Lagos State if not checked.
We pray that our plea to the NWC would be actioned urgently to avoid an imminent exodus of party members.
We are also praying that God in His mercies, would be a shield and buckler for every member of the party and He would return smiles to the faces of members of the party in Lagos State.
Concerned Lagos Elders Forum.